Gujarat court acquits nine of waging war charges


Ahmedabad : A local court Friday acquitted nine people, including an advocate, who were charged with waging war against the nation and hatching a conspiracy to create terror in Gujarat after the 2002 communal riots.

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Additional Sessions Judge A.H. Shah acquitted advocate Mohammed Ali and eight others – Mohammed Abdul Bari, Istekhar ul Hasan, Abdul Rahim, Mohammed Safiuddin, Saeed Akbar, Javedkhan Azizkhan, Aslam Nagori and Ahmed Hussain Mansuri.

The court, in its 125-page judgment, observed that the prosecution had failed to prove their case against the accused.

Examining 32 witnesses and other documentary evidence, the court noted that it was not evident from the record produced before it or from examining the witnesses that the accused had waged war against the nation or hatched a conspiracy.

According to the case details, the detection of crime branch (DCB) had arrested 56 people in 2003 accusing them of carrying out a conspiracy backed by Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence to provoke Muslim youth to take revenge of the 2002 communal riots and wage war against the nation. They were charged under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

In 2005, the central POTA review committee recommended that out of 56, ten ought not to have been charged under POTA. One of these ten was a senior advocate at a local court, H.N. Jhala, who died during the pendency of the case.

The designated POTA court had convicted 22 people after finding them guilty in the case and had acquitted 22 others.

The nine accused who were acquitted Friday were tried for offences punishable under Indian Penal Code and Arms Act.